I’m Ed Bruske and we’re showing you how to start your own vegetable garden.
And here I’ve designed the garden bed using stakes and string, strung between the stakes to give a good sharp outline. I can tell you though that taking upside is not a whole lot of fun. It's a lot of work but that’s how I did to all of my garden beds here at my garden. I took all the sand up and transport it to a place where it composted and from there, it's—there are several ways to actually create a garden bed.
One thing to keep in mind with the outline of the bed is that, it doesn’t really matter so much how long the bed is but it does matter how wide the bed is. You don’t want to be too wide that you can’t get your arms in and work on plants that are in the middle of the bed. So what I’ve designed here is something that works very comfortably for me. And that’s a bed that’s about three and a half feet wide. It could be three feet wide, it’s could be four feet wide. Also, you want to maintain a path between your beds so that you don’t have to walk in your bed to get around. And those paths really don’t need to be more that about a foot wide. Just enough so that you can get a wheelbarrow or a cart in between the path and work from one side to the next.
Now as far as the actual bed goes, some people like to do something it's called double digging. That’s an old technique where ones the sod up, you actually dig down for almost 24 inches in the soil and trenches from one end to the other so that the soil is all turned over on it's self and creates a very good draining environment. These days, people are even leaning toward something quite the opposite called “no till” where we don’t disturb the soil or the soil microbs that are in there nearly so much.
I do something, it's about half in between where I use my fork spade to get into the soil, remove all the rocks and the stones that are in there and believe me there are quite a few, and then I will add compose and work that in with my spade and with my stirrup hoe to get a nicely draining, well amended soil that’s got lots of organic matter in it for the plants to thrive on.
Now there are ways to approach this same situation quite differently and without all of the heavy lifting and the digging. One of them is commonly referred to now as lasagna gardening and what that means is that instead of taking up the grass, you smother it in layers of the newspaper or cardboard and then layers of other organic matter like garden debris, gear grass clippings leaves and so forth. Almost like you were composing. You pile those layers up like in a lasagna and then you start planting in that as if it were a compose pile. It would gradually break down and turn in into compose that you can garden in.
Another approach that people take is what’s called raised bed gardening and that’s a method where you create a bed out of lumber 6, 8, 10 inches high and fill that with soil or mix with of soil and compose or sometimes even just compose and plant your vegetables in that. That is fairly simple and it creates a nice separation from your garden bed and nature, which is always trying to get into your garden bed.
Another method or approach particularly for disabled or elderly people who have a harder time getting down low is to make a vegetable bed on a table that people can approach in a wheel chair or garden in standing up. So that would be simply a big box on the legs.
Next, we’re going to talk about what you’re going to plant in your vegetable garden.